In a world full of salted caramel, butterscotch is often overlooked and forgotten.
That’s why I’m excited to shine the spotlight on butterscotch with this pie recipe. It’ll make you remember just how wonderfully sweet and complex the stuff is. Liquid gold! Well, in this case, pudding gold.
I particularly love this recipe for holidays like Thanksgiving. Why? Well there’s no pie crust involved. Just a simple ground cookie crust.
Also, this recipe has to be made ahead of time. It doesn’t take up more than 10 minutes in the oven since the filling is made on the stovetop.
Every bite just tastes like fall goodness. It’s just about perfect!
Butterscotch Pie Recipe Tips
One of my favorite parts of this recipe is the sweet yet spiced Biscoff cookie crust. You know, the cookies you get when you’re on the plane? They’re like a combination of gingerbread and graham crackers and they complement the butterscotch flavor oh so well.
You can find them at most grocery stores. I’ve seen them at Walmart, Target, and Kroger stores and you can find them under the name Speculoos at Trader Joe’s.
If you can’t find them or don’t want to use them, replace with 17 graham crackers instead (when I say graham cracker, I mean the full rectangle).
I would highly recommend reading the recipe through once or twice before you actually get started making the filling. It’s not hard, promise, but there are a few different components involved. You make a caramel / butterscotch sauce then make pudding which involves tempering eggs.
Tempering sounds really fancy but it’s basically just how we gently bring the eggs up to temperature without scrambling them. I talk more about tempering in this video post for how to make homemade custard ice cream.
Whole milk really does work best here, 2% or lower won’t be as thick and creamy and won’t set quite as well. I haven’t tried this recipe with any non-dairy subs.
Note: Be sure your pie dish isn’t too shallow. As you can see in the photos this recipe basically fills the pie pan all the way to the top with butterscotch goodness.
This pie must chill for at least 6 hours in the fridge. I almost always just make it the day before I plan to serve it so it can firm up completely overnight. It’ll stay good in the fridge for a few days, but the crust will get soggy the longer it sits. The whipped cream topping is best made the day it’s served.
More Pie Recipes:
Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.
For the cookie crust:
- 32 Speculoos / Biscoff cookies (250 gram package)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- 6 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) packed dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (43 grams) cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Crushed Speculoos / Biscoff cookies, for garnish, if desired
Make the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In the bowl of a food processor pulse the Speculoos cookies until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Use the bottom of a measuring cup, glass, or ramekin to press the crust mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake until fragrant, about 12 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the filling:
Whisk the egg yolks together in a large heatproof bowl until smooth.
In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar with 1/4 cup water. Gently stir with a silicone spatula. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium high and continue to cook, swirling the pan occasionally without stirring, until the mixture turns a dark amber color, about 10 minutes total.
Remove from heat. Gradually stir in the heavy cream. Set aside.
In medium saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add half of the milk, whisking to combine. Whisk in the remaining milk. Set over medium high heat, whisking often, until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add in the butterscotch mixture.
Gradually pour about a quarter of the hot liquid into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, to temper the eggs. Add another quarter of the hot mixture to the eggs, whisking. Slowly transfer the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Whisking constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thickened like pudding.
Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Whisk vigorously for 1 minute to encourage the mixture to cool. Pour through a mesh sieve into the prepared crust to remove any lumps.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight to set. At this point the pie can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Make the topping:
In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to beat the cream on medium high speed until it begins to thicken. Add in the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
Spread over the pie. Garnish with Speculoos crumbs, if desired. Serve.